Proving the value of mentoring and befriending projects

For those organisations running mentoring and befriending projects there is a great deal to think about – the volunteers, the beneficiaries, the funding.

An important part of this is capturing what the project does, how well it is going and the benefits it brings. Monitoring and evaluation helps to check whether everything is going okay for the beneficiaries and volunteers. It might be driven by an organisation’s desire to learn and improve their project. Or it could be about providing information for funders. Often it can be all of these things.

However, sometimes organisations are not able to prioritise monitoring and evaluation, due to lack of funding or pressures on staff time. Or it might simply be that it isn’t a requirement of the project, perhaps because the organisation has been running it for years.

Support for voluntary organisations

An NCVO research project funded by the City Bridge Trust looks to help organisations with their monitoring and evaluation. This includes: training, mentoring support and our new free web resource, which has just been launched.

This has been shaped by our contact with over 100 organisations so far in the project through training workshops and one-to-one calls. We have listened to their needs and shaped the resource in light of this.

For those organisations starting the monitoring and/or evaluation of their programmes from scratch, the web resource provides a number of ‘how to guides’ to get started. There are also various frameworks and outcome measures that are widely used by mentoring and befriending organisations, and these are also listed.

These different online resources can help mentoring and befriending organisations at different stages of their research journey. It can help organisations that specialise in a particular field, such as health or education, to identify the tools best suited to them.

Other support


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Avatar photo Andy Curtis was senior research officer at NCVO's Institute for Volunteering Research.

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